End Gender Based Violence in the Walmart Garment Supply Chain!

Doug McMillan, Walmart CEO

Concentrated in short term, low-skill and low-wage positions, women garment workers are at the base of Walmart garment supply chains in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Indonesia and are at daily risk of gender based violence and harassment at work.

Women garment workers are targets of gender based violence because they are seen as less likely or able to resist. Making up the majority of workers in garment supply chains in Asia, women workers are disproportionately impacted by forms of workplace violence perpetrated against both women and men.

A global coalition of trade unions, worker rights and human rights organizations, which includes Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) CENTRAL Cambodia, Global Labor Justice, Sedane Labour Resource Centre, and Society for Labour and Development released a groundbreaking factory level research report detailing gender based violence in Walmart's Asian garment supply chains. They are also asking for Walmart to take immediate action to end the violence and harassment that women garment workers are forced to endure daily.

For women garment workers, violence and harassment isn’t limited to violence that takes place in physical workplaces, but also during commutes and in employer provided housing. Women garment workers in Walmart supply chains in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India reported acts of violence that include acts that inflicted sexual harm and suffering; physical violence, verbal abuse, coercion, threats and retaliation, and routine deprivations of liberty including forced overtime.

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To: Doug McMillan, Walmart CEO
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The Women’s Leadership of Asia Floor Wage Alliance is asking Walmart to publicly support and commit to ending gender based violence with three immediate action steps:

1. Publicly support and commit to proactively implement a ILO Convention Recommendation on Gender Based Violence that includes the recommendations from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance and partners

2. Meet with the Asia Floor Wage Women’s Leadership Committee in the next three months to discuss the supply chain findings and next steps.

3. Proactively work with the Asia Floor Wage Alliance to pilot women’s committees in factories that eliminate gender based violence and discrimination from the supplier factories.

Garment workers deserve a safe workplace free from gender based violence and consumers don’t want clothes tainted with exploitation and violence. As the world’s largest private employer, Walmart has the the power to influence other companies and governments by setting the international industry wide standard that gender based violence in the workplace will not be tolerated.